As inflation climbs across the globe, the demand grows for understanding what money is and how it works in today’s world. Fortunately, economist Robert Murphy’s recent book Understanding Money Mechanics is an excellent primer. From explaining the origins of money, to the rise of the banking system and its modern operations, to the workings of the Federal Reserve, to simple guides to Bitcoin and Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), to timely lessons on inflation of the money supply, the book makes complicated topics easy. For example, ever wonder where money came from? The answer is neither from the government nor from a central bank. As Dr. Murphy explains, long before the paper dollars we use today were introduced, people engaged in “direct exchange,” or barter, by trading the items they produced. For instance, a cobbler might trade his shoes to the baker in exchange for her bread.